About Vaccines / Immunizations

Types of Vaccines / Immunizations

Live Vaccines / Live Attenuated Vaccine
Never Receive a "Live" Vaccine when on high dose Immunosuppressant Therapy.
A "Live Vaccine", also called Live Attenuated Vaccine (LAV), contains a weakened form of the actual bacteria or virus you are being vaccinated for.
The objective of taking Immunosuppressants is to quiet the immune system. If given a "live" vaccine it is possible your body may not be able to clear what you are being vaccinated against and you may actually get the disease.
Types of "Live Vaccine"
- Influenza Virus "Flu" (Given in the Nose as a Spray)
- MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) [2]
- Varicella [2]
- Herpes Zoster [2]
Recombinant and Inactivated Vaccines
If it is necessary for a person to receive a vaccine while on Prednisone, the "Inactivated" (Killed) -, or "Recombinant" - type of Vaccine can often be given. However, people on Prednisone, or other Immunosuppressant, may not mount a strong Immune Response to the Vaccine. As a result, they might not be well-protected against the disease.
A doctor can perform a Blood Test to determine how well the Immune System responded to the Vaccine, called an Antibody Titer Assay. It takes a long time for the body to complete the Immune Response to the Vaccine so the Antibody Titer testing can not be performed immediately.
Types of Recombinant and Inactivated Vaccines
- Influenzavirus "Flu - Shot" (Given by Injection)

Vaccines and IBD

Immunosuppressants and Vaccines

You are more susceptible to Infections when you are on Immunosuppressant Therapy especially at higher doses of drug. You may also be less able to recover from an infection.


1. Possible Side-effects from Vaccines. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated February 2012. Accessed June 2012.

2. Wasan SK, Skolnik PR, and Farraye FA. A 24-Year-Old Patient With Crohn's Disease Starting Immunosuppressive Therapy: Vaccination Issues to Consider. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology: The Official Clinical Practice Journal of the American Gastroenterological Association. 2010; 8(12):1013-1016 DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2010.07.001 Accessed June 2012. http://download.journals.elsevierhea...6510006774.pdf

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